Barcelona: Xavi plans flashback ahead of Istanbul trip

Few can criticize xavier after seeing how he got Barcelona playing good football again, with results to follow, but the former Al-Sadd manager saw his decision to rest key players against Galatasaray backfire in the form of a 0-0 draw .

Los Cules’ fixture list is a challenge due to participation in the Europa League, and that made some sense for xavier to try and limit the physical demands on his players for the first leg against the Turkish opposition who have endured a truly disappointing domestic season.

He wanted to rest the players who have the highest cumulative workload, players like Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba. However, the way the game was progressing forced him to introduce players he hoped he didn’t need.

vital week

Barcelona have two games that will condition the immediate future of LaLiga Santander and the Europa League.

On paper, Barcelona should still be stronger than their Turkish opponents in the second leg, but there are a number of factors that could make this proposition a tricky one.

Firstly, the Istanbul club’s infamous partisan support will create a truly trying atmosphere, while the scheduling of the Clasico three days later could force xavier to play young players in the bear pit that is Arena Seyrantepe.